Badminton Life

Revenge for Gomez in Canada

When badminton players of the same nationality or region end up facing each other in an international tournament, there is always an element of intrigue about the ties.

Recent months, no doubt fuelled by the race for Olympic places, have saw a few incidents where alleged match fixing has taken place to ensure the best result for the nation takes place. In fairness, these accusations have been made mainly at one country and there is certainly a history of that level of performance. For other players and nations though, there is a greater deal of integrity and perhaps old scores to settle which makes for excellent games.

One such instance happened recently in the Atwater Canadian International in Montreal to two Oceanic players. Stuart Gomez is currently ranked the top singles player in Australia and holds the position of being the 76th best player in the world. That's not a bad position to be in but he must have winced when he was drawn to play against John Moody.

Moody is hailed as the top badminton player in the Oceanic region and holds a world ranking position that is 36 places higher than what Gomez holds. When you also factor in that Moody triumphed over Gomez in the recent Oceania Championship, you could have forgiven Stuart Gomez for being slightly apprehensive about this tie.

No one wants to lose a second round match up and the determination to get revenge obviously had Gomez fired up as he came roaring out of the blocks and took a commanding 21-17 victory in the opening set. This appeared to rock Moody and although his fans and backroom team would have been hoping for a comeback in the second set, he surrendered meekly to the onset of Gomez's attacking display and the set finished 21-7.

A commanding two set triumph for Gomez proved that rankings and previous history are not always a strong indicator for predicting results and that upsets can occur at any step of the way.

For all that Gomez lacks in world ranking points in comparison to Moody, the player has certainly been putting in the hard work of late and before the Canadian tournament he was training with players from around the world. The BWF World Training Centre located in Saarbrucken was the host venue for Gomez to hone his skills against some of the worlds finest and it clearly paid off handsomely.

Gomez was defeated by Carl Baxter from England in the next round but with the 1st of May deadline for the world rankings which will decide Australia and Oceania's placing for the Olympics, Gomez will be feeling quietly satisfied. Fellow Australian Jeff Tho was not as fortunate in Canada where he lost out in the first round to Raju Rai from the United States of America by a 21-19, 21-19 margin.

What impact this has on the final places remains to be seen but the players will not have long to wait to find out if they are heading to 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing or not.

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